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Sep 30

Patch 3.0.2 is close on the horizon – if it’s not here within the next couple of weeks I’ll be surprised – and your UI is going to break. That’s right, all those lovely addons you use are going to stop working!

…well, most of them will.

And the big addon sites are always hammered on Patch Day; UI-Breaking Patch Day will just be that much worse. You can forget playing with your preferred UI if you haven’t done something about it in advance.

So! Download and patch the PTR client, transfer your most important characters over, and set to work rebuilding your UI now. Sites like WoW Interface make note of addons that are WotLK compatible – which means they should also be Patch 3.0 compatible.

You’ve got two ways of doing it:

  1. Copy your WTF folder and the contents of your Interface/Addons folder to the equivalent places in the PTR client folder, and try to fix it a bit at a time, replacing addons as you establish that they’re broken.
  2. Start with a blank canvas, no settings files, and download brand-new copies of appropriate addons from your download site of choice. Build the UI from scratch.

The second option is the method I’m going to choose myself, and I’d recommend it in general, just to make certain there are no legacy files persisting to cause incompatibilities and grief down the track. (The exception is ItemRack; I have a lot of different sets with only a few differences between them, and I really don’t want to have to make all those gearing decisions again.)

Step 1: Think!

When you do it, first identify what kind of addons you’ll want.

  • a unit-frame mod?
  • an action bar mod?
  • a raid-frame mod?
  • a threat meter?
  • a DPS/performance meter?
  • a gear set changer?
  • a map mod?
  • a boss mod?

Those are the common mods most people are likely to want; have a think about other key features of your UI – whether stylistic (like a reskin, font replacer or viewframe mod) or functional (like a DoT timer, a chat manager or a combat text mod) – and whether they’re absolutely essential or whether you can afford to install them later.

Step 2: Research and Download!

Once you’ve made those decisions, you’ll be better-equipped to navigate the “WotLK Mods!” sections of your favourite addon sites to try and find mods that will do what you want. Don’t be surprised if your favourite mods haven’t been updated for WotLK yet – many mods get abandoned around expansion time, and others are slow to be updated. You might have to get creative when looking for addons that will do what you want – remember that many addon names aren’t very informative, so check out anything unless you’re sure you don’t want it.

Step 3: Profit!

And then, once Patch 3.0 goes live, rename your WoW Addons and WTF directories and copy the equivalent folders over from the PTR client – everything should work fine, and you’ll have a minimum of downtime. (Just don’t delete your old addons and wtf folders until you’re sure everything’s working perfectly, just in case.)

Happy interface-overhauling!

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4 Comments

Comment by Naissa

Made Tuesday, 30 of September , 2008 at 6:26 pm

I knew I was forgetting something! Thanks for the reminder. Always a pain when a patch “breaks” my UI!

Comment by Phyllixia

Made Tuesday, 30 of September , 2008 at 10:48 pm

I don’t think I need to say it, but: Sif addons. :D

Comment by Kadomi

Made Tuesday, 30 of September , 2008 at 11:30 pm

I was kind of horrified how many of my addons broke on the PTR. I was able to use action bars and unit frame addons, but all the little tweaks I love so much, all gone.

I can only second your advice, it’s best to be prepared!

Comment by Gnomerie

Made Tuesday, 30 of September , 2008 at 11:44 pm

On the other hand, I’m looking forward to the new built-in game calendar :) Allows my casual and small guild to easily form raids without having to download yet another addon or register online before they can sign up.

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